quite a gala day for our Brigade; a guard of honour was drawn up outside General Gamble’s <Comdg 17 Bde> house, the Union Jack was hoisted & the Royal Salute was sounded off by the Buglers of the 43rd. We held one race meeting during our stay in Amarah. It was a one day meeting & included events for officers & men as well as an open race for local Arabs. A nephew of Gadsban, a local sheikh, entered several ponies. They had never, of course, seen a horse race before & on the flag falling they galloped off round the course, pulling up & sprinting spasmodically, Gadsbans nephew ipso facto winning the race! It was an amusing afternoon & it was hoped that it would be popular with the Arab population, & I think it certainly was.
We had in fact settled down as if we had been in a peace station, <for our advanced post which had been pushed forward to Kuwait & later to Ali Sherki would have given us timely warning of any activity on the part of the Turks.> The suggestion of starting a club had <even> been raised, I was to have been on the committee. This scheme however never materialised, for early in September the 6th Division embarked and proceeded to Ali-el-Gharbi, where they concentrated prior to their march to Sunnaiyat.
On Sept 7th I <heard that my application to be posted to the Royal Flying Corps as an observing officer had been sanctioned, & that I was to hold myself in readiness to join at any moment.> However I proceeded up river with